Mikro-Gen Ltd
Raffaele Cecco
1986
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£8.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

107
Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

This game could claim some unique fame as it made the TV headlines. Thames Television covered the National Cornputer Games Championship towards the end of 1986, and this happened to be the game selected to test the cream of games' players who'd been put forward by various computer magazines and newspapers.

Cop-Out is all about keeping the streets clear of lawless elements during prohibition in the roaring twenties. It is a thankless task. With a mere nine lives, our brave boy in blue has ten levels of life's social outcasts and rougher elements to deal with.

Gangsters, molls, drunks... there is seemingly no end to the seamier side of life. And they all want one thing, to rub out da cop. The mobsters come armed with the old violin case jobs spitting out bullets. There is also a sprinkling of yobs, obviously not amused at the difficulty in getting a quick drink in the prohibition days, and they enjoy nothing better than chucking empty bottles at poor old flatfoot.

To combat this fusilade, our hero has his trusty six shooter. He runs backwards and forwards along the bottom of the screen, dodging the bullets and bottles. As he moves, his gunsight (it's a pretty advanced six shooter) moves as well, but at twice the speed. The gunsight can also move up and down. The brave bobby can let off a volley of six shots before he has to pause to re-load. His targets are birds, cars and planes which drift around the sky as well as the gangsters themselves. Shooting the gangsters is a tricky task, as they only break cover for a short time to lob something at the cop.

If all this makes it sound like the odds are stacked against the lawman, he has one thing on his side. If he can shoot a bottle as it hurtles through the air, he becomes temporarily unscratchable. While this Dutch courage lasts, he can happily blast away at anything in sight, especially the biplane, which looks like it may have belonged to the Red Baron, and a jeep full of German officers (aren't they in the wrong movie?) Hitting these out-of- place items clocks up 1,000 points a go. Another good wheeze is to shoot a bird and get a gangster clobbered by the poor Leathered chump as he plummets to earth. Not a game that RSPB members are likely to relish.

After a while play moves on to another level and life gets more difficult for our hero. Like they say on TV, it's tough on the streets!

CRITICISM

'This isn't exactly what I'd call a state-of-the-art program but it certainly isn't dire. I couldn't play Cop-Out f or long as it really isn't demanding enough to appeal to me - running left and right and shooting things through sights isn't an original idea, and nowadays it isn't much fun either. Graphically Cop-Out is fairly impressive: the characters move around well and the backgrounds are nicely drawn. The sound is also fairly good and there is a lovely tune on the title screen. If this was a budget title I would strongly recommend it. Alas it isn't and nine quid is far too high a price.' BEN

'Cor this is a bit of a change from the usual MIKRO-GEN stuff - but I can handle it. Graphically the game is spot on and contains loads of colour. Cop-Out is immediately addictive but after a while I sussed net that the game contains little more than a sub stage of the budget game. Kane - although to be fair to Cop-Out, it does contain a bit more thought about what you blast next. The backgrounds are well drawn, but don't give much of a 3D impression. Worth a look at, if you like a good shoot 'em up, but much too expensive for us average mortals.' PAUL

'When I first saw this at the Microfair, I thought "rough!". Having played it however, it doesn't look that bad. All the graphics, though initially appearing poor, are interestingly animated, and the game is surprisingly playable. An element of the 'one more go' feeling has survived, although I don't think that for one minute its price is deserved. It sounds quite jolly, with a nice time on the title screen, and good spot effects during the game. Ultimately, I can't recommend Cop-Out, because it's a bit too average in most respects' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q Up, A Down, O left, P right, 3 Pause, M fire, 1-4 Reset
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Use of colour: decorative
Graphics: good detail and some animation
Sound: good spot effects throughout
Skill levels: one
Screens: 10
General Rating: A polished renedition of an unoriginal game.

81%
72%
69%
67%
58%
65%

Screenshot Text

In the warehouse, the cop tries got to drop the birdie on a baddy's head for a bonus.

Flatfoot shoots wildly at the biplane hoping to collect another 1,000 points.